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  1. #91
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post


    It's rather a problem when the two sides are speaking different languages without realizing they're doing it.
    Yes, after having several similar conversations such as this on this forum, I've come to the conclusion that that is, indeed, what is occurring. Tower of Babel!

    Trying to measure feet by the metric system.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  2. #92
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oleander View Post
    I think the word 'God' is very significant. When Christianity was founded there were thousands of gods and they all had a personal name including the Jewish OT god. The Christian god does not have a personal name. There was a realisation within pagan philosophy that whether all the gods existed or not (and whatever they were or what exist might mean in their case) there had to be some kind of Ultimate Principle, some Foundation that everything was a form of and for want of a better words call it The God beyond the gods.

    That is always the Christian usage. It's often usage in the Dead Sea Scrolls as well (and the word for 'god' is El or Al, as in Al-Lah). Whatever its 'real' origins, Christianity was a 'new dispensation' in that it dealt with a Principle beyond depiction or naming. There are similar concepts in related an unrelated religions. In Qabbala The Infinite Light of Nothing in Hinduism & Buddhism The Undifferentiated. Christianity treats the gods as at best fictions, at worst actual evil forces distracting us from greater understanding. St. Paul even says to go through 'Scripture' and what acts of YHWH fit Christian ethics and understanding of The Divinity actually are 'of the god', what do not are 'of man' - justifications for ancient conquests and royal decrees. If you want a 'depiction' or 'image' of the divinity, you have to go through The Christ as represented by Jesus. That covers the 'simple' in need of gods they can see and imagine.

    'God' is nota name: it is a label, a 'description' of some Priinciple that by definition cannot be defined (There's worse things in mathematical logic!). That is how Christianity comes to be a radical development of public religions of the time, though the initiatory Mystery religions taught similar ideas - and how, in pagan terms, it was seen as Atheism.

    Fine. But not everybody did think along those mystical lines. Christianity had its 'militant fundamentalists' then too. We hear about them as martyrs bravely resisting wicked Romans pleading with them to just even pray to their god for the Emperor's well-being. Not so hard: most modern states include prayers for their Head of State. We hear far less about the ones who found no problem with this or with accepting the official gods as part of the doings of normal life. They made no trouble so there's nothing to hear.

    Well not quite nothing. We do hear of them as heretics, backsliders, traitors to the Cause - all the things we might expect a suicide bomber to call the typical Muslim who says his prayers but doesn't mind the occasional forbidden drink and thinks Shariya Law was an improvement in the desert of the First Century AH but now that's where it should stay.

    I submit that it's these people who really understood the original Christian message and the kids took the school over over and eliminated their teachers. The militants had (and needed) better organisation and they flourished during sixty years when the Roman Empire fell apart in almost permanent civil war before being put back together in a new form that became the Byzantine Empire. It's notable that the first thing that happened then was a persecution of Christians and the second their legalisation leading to becoming obligatory State Religion.

    Why? Because those Christians probably had a better working organisation than the State. People looked to their Bishop for protection and justice, not to unreliable cash-starved bribable official magistrates. They constituted a state within the State and had to be either crushed (which didn't work) or absorbed (which worked mightily!)

    At the same time, those Christians had long since lost touch with a lot of the inner meanings and returned to the kind of personal god called God that pagans had. As the religion spread to non-Romans they replaced Thor with Christ, Woden with God and so on. The Orthodox and Catholic churches retain some vestige of deity as a Principle beyond some Zeus on a cloud interfering with the world. By the time you come to descendants of these 'Barbarians' in Switzerland and Holland and get Zwingli and Calvin, their God is a Person Up There with a very definite character (and not a nice one either!).

    So, to try and sum up, I think the Abrahamic Personification was just what Christianity was intended to get beyond with a much more philosophical 'god' considered Atheistic at the time. The idea got lost and instead they restored the old kind of personified deity using God as a personal name instead of a title. The worst of them took their ideas across the Atlantic where they became ever more primitive and ever more crazy so that some of them can read passages talking about Jews and the Promissed Land as applying to themselves while denouncing real Jews as cursed. We should really think of 'The God' in the New Testament as something much vaguer and greater than the Personage imagined in the Old.

    That doesn't make me a 'Christian' in any usual sense. It makes be an outright heretic. But I feel that taken that way, all religions reconcile up to a point, given the different societies they have developed in. Europeans and Middle Easterners are far too dynamic to have developed anything like Buddhism. Indians have a tradition of philosophy and mysticism going back too far to develop something as formalised as Islam. Even where they have taken to it, they were among the first to develop Sufi mysticism. And so on.
    that sort of God IS atheistic. If he is undefinable, then you are admitting you know of no attributes, wills, desires, rules or judgment. For all we know, such an 'unknowable' God, could just as easily say that murder was his highest value! we would have no way of knowing/or even claiming to know. how would this be a God that comforts people in their prayers, or rectifies wrongs? this really wouldn't even be a God at all, in the sense that it would have no 'knowable' affects on our lives! it would be no better than just accepting something like quantum inflation (as far as looking for comforting spirituality).

  3. #93
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Trying to measure feet by the metric system.
    The what?






    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #94
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    This, uh, is the problem.

    There is no "literal" reading that makes any sort of pervasive sense.

    How in God's name (literally) can you read a document composed from different cultures, by different authors, over the space of 1500 years, written in different languages and translated into new ones (so much for "literal"!) by people far removed from the culture in question so they don't really understand the text and its implications in a literal fashion?

    "Literal" is just yet one more interpretation, just like all the "liberal" interpretations out there. The only seeming difference between the two is the letters "b" and "t".
    the literal is slightly better than the "liberal interpretations" because all you can do is take the authors at their own word. dont complain to me about how the literal interpretation STILL doesnt make any sense. we dont have the authors here to tell us if they meant something else, so its best to just take them at their word.

    Two people "went to God" and came up with completely different answers.

    The method does not produce similar results.
    Because the method can't be separated from the individual in question, like scientific method can.
    .
    this is a hallmark of a faulty method: no convergence and no consistency. in any other field, this would be seen as a nail in the coffin: logic, math, science, historical method etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Yes, after having several similar conversations such as this on this forum, I've come to the conclusion that that is, indeed, what is occurring. Tower of Babel!

    Trying to measure feet by the metric system.
    the most inherent problem is that religious people are in love with certain words and refuse to reduce them to what they actually describe. one side is ok with everything tracing back to space-time geometry (emotions, meaning, love, etc) and the other side wants there to be this "other" more supernatural essence to those ideas (i have heard this called linguistic superstition). example: consciousness can be accounted for in a purely 'pattern-istic' sense of space-time, as can love, emotion, meaning, etc....religious people refuse to accept this and want there to be something 'extra'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    the literal is slightly better than the "liberal interpretations" because all you can do is take the authors at their own word. dont complain to me about how the literal interpretation STILL doesnt make any sense. we dont have the authors here to tell us if they meant something else, so its best to just take them at their word
    Read my point there again.

    There's no way you can really tell what their word WAS.
    What you consider "literal" is guaranteed to be as wrong as anything else.
    And depending on what translations you use and who you talk to, people can't even agree on what "literal" means.

    That's the problem.

    Let's look at your post: I can't even take THAT literally.

    the literal is slightly better than the "liberal interpretations" because all you can do is take the authors at their own word.

    You used the term "word" instead of "words."
    Hmm. I guess they all had the same word, rather than each having separate "words."

    dont complain to me about how the literal interpretation STILL doesnt make any sense.

    So although I know I was complaining to people in general about the general state of the argument, you took it to mean I was complaining to YOU specifically because of the context of it being in a post directed towards you?

    or maybe I shouldn't be reading this literally.

    we dont have the authors here to tell us if they meant something else, so its best to just take them at their word

    Where is here? You mean here on the forum? Here in my room? Here in YOUR room?

    Damn. I can't even read a post here literally, lots of assumptions just get made in the course of being on a forum. And we're contemporaries, speaking the same general language, with similar mental capabilities (give or take) and analysis styles. We don't speak "literally" to each other, context is a standard part of daily communication.

    Now, tell me again how to read something that I described in my earlier post "literally."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #96
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Read my point there again.

    There's no way you can really tell what their word WAS.
    What you consider "literal" is guaranteed to be as wrong as anything else.
    And depending on what translations you use and who you talk to, people can't even agree on what "literal" means.

    That's the problem.

    Let's look at your post: I can't even take THAT literally.

    the literal is slightly better than the "liberal interpretations" because all you can do is take the authors at their own word.

    You used the term "word" instead of "words."
    Hmm. I guess they all had the same word, rather than each having separate "words."

    dont complain to me about how the literal interpretation STILL doesnt make any sense.

    So although I know I was complaining to people in general about the general state of the argument, you took it to mean I was complaining to YOU specifically because of the context of it being in a post directed towards you?

    or maybe I shouldn't be reading this literally.

    we dont have the authors here to tell us if they meant something else, so its best to just take them at their word

    Where is here? You mean here on the forum? Here in my room? Here in YOUR room?

    Damn. I can't even read a post here literally, lots of assumptions just get made in the course of being on a forum. And we're contemporaries, speaking the same general language, with similar mental capabilities (give or take) and analysis styles. We don't speak "literally" to each other, context is a standard part of daily communication.

    Now, tell me again how to read something that I described in my earlier post "literally."
    i dont count "obvious figures of speech" as being liberal interpretations. ie, its obvious that many of the parables in the bible are figures of speech and are not "literal", yet reading the sentence and taking the figure of speech to be what that figure of speech is known to mean is fine. referring to ur comment on MY post: "take the author at their word" ie obvious figure of speech.

    now with that out of the way, is the genesis account of creation an obvious figure of speech?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    now with that out of the way, is the genesis account of creation an obvious figure of speech?
    Some people would still say "yes."

    I grew up among them.
    And I still know a number of them.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #98
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Some people would still say "yes."

    I grew up among them.
    And I still know a number of them.
    and what would it be a figure of speech for? evolution? its a pretty shitty metaphor for what probably happened (for starters, the order of genesis is quite odd). if its a figure of speech for evolution, then where do souls come in? if its a figure of speech for some other religious mechanism, then how is it any better of an interpretation than the literal one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    and what would it be a figure of speech for? evolution? its a pretty shitty metaphor for what probably happened (for starters, the order of genesis is quite odd). if its a figure of speech for evolution, then where do souls come in? if its a figure of speech for some other religious mechanism, then how is it any better of an interpretation than the literal one?
    Sorry, did I misread your post?

    I mean that, "Yes, they take it literally."
    Verbatim.
    Seven days, just like "The Ring."

    My Uncle-in-Law is retired now, but he was a engineering project leader for Westinghouse (or one of those big names), then a professional corporate CEO for the remainder of his career and has more money than anyone else I know... and he still ascribes to Henry Morris and is a Young Earth Creationist. Gaaaa.

    Sorry if I was unclear.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #100
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Sorry, did I misread your post?

    I mean that, "Yes, they take it literally."
    Verbatim.
    Seven days, just like "The Ring."

    My Uncle-in-Law is retired now, but he was a engineering project leader for Westinghouse (or one of those big names), then a professional corporate CEO for the remainder of his career and has more money than anyone else I know... and he still ascribes to Henry Morris and is a Young Earth Creationist. Gaaaa.

    Sorry if I was unclear.
    oh ya. sorry, i thought your answer implied they thought it was a figure of speech for some metaphor ... cleared up now though

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